Aztecs Top TCU, 5-3, In Series Finale
April 22, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - San Diego State led from start to finish as it captured the finale of its three-game series with TCU by the score of 5-3 Sunday afternoon at Tony Gwynn Stadium. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for SDSU which improved to 19-23 overall and 8-7 in the Mountain West.
The Aztecs grabbed the early lead with a pair of runs in the opening frame against Horned Frog starter Stefan Crichton. Greg Allen was hit by pitch, Tim Zier singled and Spencer Thornton walked to load the bases with one out. Ryan Muno then came through with a RBI single to center to bring home Allen after which Seby Zavala's ground out to short scored Zier to give the home side a quick 2-0.
TCU countered with a run in the top of the second off Aztec starter Ryan Doran (3-3). The junior right-hander would go 6.2 innings, allowing a total of three runs on nine hits with no walks and seven strikeouts as he would record a win for the third time in his last four starts (the other was a no-decision). His seven K's equaled his career best as an Aztec.
San Diego State would increase its lead to 4-1 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Muno and Zavala hit back-to-back doubles to open the frame and score the first run of the inning. Two batters later John Spirk's single to left brought home Zavala.
The Horned Frogs, however, once again came right back and scored twice in the top of the seventh to make it a one-run contest once again at 4-3. Those markers came on a double, hit batter and two singles before Doran gave way to sophomore reliever Justin Hepner, who entered the contest with two out and runners at second and third. Hepner proceeded to get a grounder to short to end the threat.
SDSU added an insurance run in its half of the eighth as it loaded the bases with two out when Jake Romanski singled, Spirk was hit by pitch and Matt Muñoz walked. TCU reliever Kaleb Merck then uncorked a wild pitch to bring home Romanski and make it 5-3.
Hepner, meanwhile, shut down the Horned Frog offense over the final two frames surrendering a lone single in the eighth as he recorded his seventh save of the season. TCU's Crichton (5-1) suffered his first loss of the 2012 campaign after giving up four runs on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts during his 5.1 innings of work.
A trio of Aztecs ended the afternoon with two hits to their credit including Seby Zavala (two doubles, 2 RBI, run scored), Ryan Muno (single, double, RBI, run scored) and Tim Zier (two singles, run scored).
Up next for San Diego State is a trip to Colorado Springs for a three-game Mountain West series against Air Force that gets underway on Friday, April 27, at 3:00 p.m. (MT) at Falcon Field.